Tuesday, September 17

Education on Tuesday will be held in the morning, before the tradeshow starts at noon. Half the sessions are management focused, and half are service focused. Additional service tech session will be held all morning on Wednesday. Attendees signed up for the management track can attend any education sessions Monday through Wednesday. Attendees signed up for the Service Track can attend any sessions on Tuesday or Wednesday. A Women in Energy session is also scheduled for 9:45 am. With the tradeshow starting at noon, there is no lunch served on Tuesday with your registration, but tradeshow registration is included at no additional cost.


8:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Registration Open

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Attendee Coffee

8:30 am - 9:30 am

Additives: Your Pathway to Profitability

8:30 am – 9:30 am, Room 556A

For countless decades industry fuel distributors viewed additives as a cost, a headache and non-essential to growing their businesses, nothing more than diverting precious profits from their bottom lines.  Naysayers are now recognizing the importance of incorporating available field-proven treatment technologies into the fuels which they sell, ensuring customers receive only highest performance fuels that keep them committed to liquid fuels in lieu of natural gas, propane or electric heat pumps.  For the dealer, additive implementation has meant increased profitability, reduced operational headaches and an iron-clad-prevent defense for a rapidly transitioning fuel slate.  This session will illuminate how additives have evolved, how they are being used and how you can adopt these technologies to remain a relevant distributor in an emerging low-carbon liquid fuel environment.


Presenter: Paul Nazzaro, President Advanced Fuel Solutions and Panel 

Smart Marketing 2020: What’s New from Websites to Smartphone Marketing

8:30 am – 9:30 am, Room Ballroom C

Marketing in this digital social media age is changing so rapidly that everything you’re currently doing or know is probably already obsolete. There are new channels for you to exploit, to reach customers.  Did you know you can now advertise on smart speakers like Google Home and Apple’s Siri?  There are new ways for you to use advanced search engine capabilities.  DId you know 20% of Google searches are voice searches, not computer-typed searches? Learn more about this changing environment, and some of the things you can do.


Presenters: Dave Heiser, Regional Sales & Marketing Coordinator, PriMedia and Gary Corbett, National Account Executive, Warm Thoughts Communications 

Acquisition Financing

8:30 am – 9:30 am, Room Ballroom B

Consolidation through acquisition has been at an all-time high. Buyers with mostly cash offers are winning the deals, so how do you raise cash and structure a transaction to become a successful acquirer?  By attending this session, you’ll learn how to frame a request to your lender for an acquisition line or to borrow for a specific transaction.  Our panel will review what documents lenders want to see, how to make balance sheets look stronger, and how to leverage ratios before requesting funds.  Non-traditional bank financing can also be a viable strategy.  This session will look at how gap, seller and mezzanine financing can make sense for many transactions, especially when some banks may not lend on intangible assets like customer lists. 


Steve Abbate, Managing Director and Principal, Cetane Associates, has 30 years of experience in the energy industry. Known as the “Acquisition Guy,” he has completed over 200 transactions.
Jeff Simpson, Managing Director of Angus Finance and Asset Manager, Angus Fund L.P. has over two decades of fuel industry experience in financial planning, banking relations, and acquisition.
Joe Ciccarello, CPA, MST – Partner of Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP. As a leader in Gray, Gray & Gray’s Energy Practice Group, Joe is intimately familiar with the day-to-day operations of energy companies and the challenges they face in a rapidly changing industry. He goes “beyond the numbers” to provide oil and propane retailers and distributors with targeted accounting, consulting and taxation services designed to help build more profitable and efficient operations. Joe is also the Managing Member of FuelExchangeTM, the firm’s merger and acquisition service for energy companies, and has deep and diversified experience working with closely held businesses, their owners and families. In particular, he has successfully assisted numerous family owned companies through the often complex business succession process. Joe joined Gray, Gray & Gray in 1986, was elected Partner in 1992, and served as the firm’s Managing Partner from 2008-2017.
Paul Black, Senior Vice President, Middle Market at Webster Bank. Paul has over 35 years of experience originating, structuring, and closing financings across a variety of industry segments, primarily for privately-held, family-owned businesses.

What You Will Allow, We'll Continue

8:30 am – 9:30 am, Room 556B

When you look at the culture of your service department or company, what you find is what you’ve created in the past.  Frequently, what became was not what you intended, but what you’ve allowed to grow.  In this talk, we’ll focus on the differences between passivity, aggression and assertiveness in leadership styles to make a connection between company environments that are healthy and function at a high level versus environments that are toxic and underperforming. 


Presenter: Roger Daviston, Roger Daviston LLC, is a management consultant who used to own an HVAC company, and so has focused on HVAC management issues and has been a frequent presenter for OESP. 

Combustion: The Invisible Facts

8:30 am – 9:30 am, Room 555A

By attending, you will gain a better understanding of the combustion process and the simple fixes that are often overlooked.  The session will cover the concept of “blind adjustment” (no need to see the flame).  You need to trust your test instrument and understand your numbers.  There will be a comprehensive discussion on the causes and effects of oil and gas combustion, combustion analysis, and the unseen causes of poor combustion.  


Presenter: Angel Gonzalez, Territory Manager for Carlin/Hydrolevel, is a 45-year veteran of the heating industry with experience as a service and installations manager. 

Three Key Trends That Will Shape the Future of Delivered Fuel

8:30 am – 9:30 am, Room 555B

The pace of change in the delivered fuel industry is moving faster than ever before. With a younger generation of homeowners, rise in tech-enabled services and rampant competition for energy customers, it’s the fuel suppliers that adapt and innovate that will continue to see their customer base and business grow. The ones that don’t, will struggle. This session will examine the latest in technology driven decision making through connected systems; tactics marketers can use to attract and create a better experience for a younger generation of customers; and key messaging tips to use technology as a differentiator in winning new customers and driving more profitability for your business


Presenters: Amos Epstein is the Co-Founder and CEO at Tank Utility. He is an expert on technology innovation and how data can greatly improve profitability in energy markets, most recently in the propane and heating oil industry and has won a national award for energy technology companies. Chris Brablc, Senior Director of Marketing at Tank Utility has been helping industries learn how to leverage technology to drive greater profitability for the past 10+ years.

9:45 am - 10:45 am

What Millennials Think About Fuel Oil and Biofuels

9:45 am – 10:45 am, Room 556A

This presentation is based on focus groups conducted by Consumer Focus with Millennials in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Heating oil marketers face significant challenges as their customer base gets older, and more homes are sold to Millennials, now in their 20s and 30s, in the coming years.  You’ll learn what this next generation of customers think about heating oil, propane, and biofuels, and how important, or not, it is to be green compared to saving money.


Presenters: Michelle Wilson and Matthew McGrath, Consumer Focus

Lessons Learned in Diversifying Beyond Oil/Propane

9:45 am – 10:45 am, Room Ballroom B

Moyer Indoor Outdoor is a Pennsylvania heating oil company that over 30 years has diversified widely, adding eight new profit centers, including lawn care, tree care, pest control, swimming pool, HVAC/plumbing and security.  But the road to diversification hasn’t always been smooth, and they will share their story with you in this session, showing you pitfalls and mistakes to avoid, including in the areas of marketing, cross selling, personnel management and finances. 


Presenter: Bob Williamson, Moyer Indoor Outdoor, General Manager, has 30 years of experience running this diversified company. 

How Heat Pumps Work

9:45 am – 10:45 am, Room Ballroom C

In this session, you’ll hear directly from a manufacturer of heat pumps the pros and cons – under what conditions do or don’t work well; you’ll learn how to graph heat pump efficiencies, and how lack of proper maintenance can cause performance problems.


Presenter: Dan Jacher, Field Technical Consultant, Lennox

Residential ECM Circulators: What They Do and More Importantly What They Don’t Do

9:45 am – 10:45 am, Room 556B

This session will review sizing circulators, with comparisons to the standard AC circulator market, and how to set up an ECM circulator properly.  ECM circulators are here to stay, and you’ll learn the benefits to you, the installer, and to the customer.


Presenter: Dave Holdorf, Taco Comfort Solutions, is a 25-year veteran in the hydronics industry. He started in tech support/design, doing radiant floor heating and is now an instructor/trainer with Taco for the past 7 years, dedicated to the residential hydronics industry.

Women in Energy: Negotiation Strategies 

9:45 am – 10:45 am, Room Warwick (4th Floor) 

Women face challenges when negotiating with men, whether for pay or promotion at their company, or negotiating contracts with outside suppliers and vendors.  They can be subject to outright bias and stereotypes.  This informative session will address these issues and start the conversation on how to overcome the obstacles.


Allison Heaney, President of Skaggs-Walsh
Cheryl Merchant, President of Taco Comfort Solutions
Kristyn Schweitzer, Wholesale Sales Manager, Sprague Operating Resources


NEW: Digital Customer Experience: Customer Adoption, ROI, and the Mobile Era

9:45 am – 10:45 am, Room 555A

In this interactive presentation, you will learn to how to leverage your company's investment in your digital customer experience and discuss ways maximize business impact. This presentation outlines best practices for boosting customer portal adoption, discusses strategies for delivering data-driven marketing content, evaluates the ongoing shift of the digital customer experience to mobile, and provides a framework for adapting to this new environment, and opportunities for ROI & business impact.


Presenter: Christopher Alesevich, Lead Market Developer, Destwin Energy LLC. Christopher has worked with Destwin Energy to provide fuel dealers a valuable and impactful digital customer experience since 2012, with particular focus on customer portal adoption, data-driven marketing tools, and mobile solutions.

10:00 am - 4:00 pm

NORA Training Advanced Steam

10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Room 555B

This NORA  course covers the technical aspects of heating with steam.  Included are: system sizing, piping and service.  This comprehensive class is six hours long and qualifies toward NORA Gold Certification.


Presenter: Rich Michael, PB Heat, LLC

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Delivery Disrupted: Technology and Optimizing Profits

11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Room Ballroom B

In this session, you will learn clear methods to lowering your cost of operations by using tank monitors and your data to impact your bottom line.  Presenter will not just throw out numbers that sound good but might be hard to fully embrace, but will show you clear methods that will result in lowering your costs by using tank monitors.  While tank monitors are a step in the right direction, they need to be a part of a fully comprehensive and automated plan to lowering your operating costs, or they could turn out to be just another gadget that was good in theory but poor in practice.

Presenter: Phil Baratz, President of Angus Energy, which he founded in 1991.  With over 600 clients, in addition to his consulting work, Phil is also an educator and author of articles in trade publications.

Business Succession: What You and Your Heirs Need to Know 

11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Room 556A

Every business will eventually reach the point in its life where it must decide on an exit strategy, either to sell or pass the company onto successors, whether they be family members or business partners.  Selling is the focus of another session at this conference.  This session will look at business succession, both the legal and financial aspects.  If you go this route, you’ll need to master complex legal and estate law concepts, as well as understand the various financial options you have available when constructing your succession plan.  In an hour’s time, this session will introduce many of these concepts to you. 


Presenters: Lisa Staron, attorney in Hartford law firm Murtha Cullina’s Trust and Estates Department, where her practice includes estate, tax, and business succession planning and estate and trust administration; Robert Butkus, Senior District Marketing Manager for Federated Insurance; Jim Townsend is the owner of Townsend Energy.

Economics of Cold Weather Heat Pumps

11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Room Ballroom C

The major energy policy of northeastern state governments is to replace heating oil, propane and even natural gas home heating systems with electric heat pumps.  State governments have preached to consumers that electric heat pumps are cheaper to run, more reliable, and cleaner than heating fuels.  This session will look critically at these claims, and expose the real economics of cold weather heat pumps so that you can let your customers who are thinking of converting “not to drink the state’s Kool Aid.” 


Presenters: Our presenters have researched cold weather heat pumps extensively for both Northeast state associations and for NORA:  Rich Sweetser, Marc IV Consulting and NORA; Ray Albrecht, National Biodiesel Board 

The Service Call Blueprint

11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Room 556B

The service call is one of our industry’s biggest missed opportunity for increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty, and looking for sales opportunities.  Whether the call is for routine maintenance or to fix a problem, your service tech is in the home, talking with the owner.  This session will cover how to greet the customer at the door and establish rapport.  How to present options-driven menu pricing.  And how to ask for appointments for new business, including replacing old equipment.  Your tech doesn’t need to be a salesman, but he/she is invaluable for paving the way for a sales call.


Presenter: Roger Daviston, Roger Daviston LLC, is a management consultant who used to own an HVAC company, and so has focused on HVAC management issues and has been a frequent presenter for OESP.

Venting: From Outlet to Wet

11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Room 555A

This session will focus on the complete vent process of condensing furnaces, including the importance of termination of the vent pipe, condensate, drain system, and pressure controls.  Attendees will learn why proper vent terminations and condensate removal are important to furnace function, and how best to determine what issues in venting and condensate affect system vent pressures.


Presenter: Robin Boyd, HVAQ, is an HVAC technical advisor for equipment manufacturers and distributors.  He has held technical training classes for residential and light commercial systems for over 20 years. 

12:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Trade Show Open | Third Floor Expo Hall

12:30 pm - 3:00 pm | NORA Board Meeting & Lunch | Ballroom B

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

CEMA Association Meeting

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Warwick

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Legends Reception - Biltmore/The Graduate Hotel, 17th Floor

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Legends Dinner - Biltmore/The Graduate Hotel, 17th Floor

MEMA/MA Association Meeting

9:00 am – 10:00 am, Room 556A